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The History Behind Jumping The Broom

Have you ever heard someone (specifically old black folks) say “they done ran off and jumped the broom!”

The first time I heard it I think I was like seven and I thought it was some kind of witches celebration... brooms... witches... right? Okay maybe that one was just me.

If you’ve ever attended a Black wedding, you may have had the chance to watch the lovely couple jump the broom right as they are about to end the ceremony and the newlyweds leave. But why is that exactly?

Many people believe that the jumping the broom part of the wedding ceremony represents taking a leap of faith but that may not be 100% fact. It was created as a way to not only connect two families but also with our ancestors. So what else don't we know about jumping the broom?

Some believe that the tradition began within the Ashanti kingdom in the 1600s while many others argue that jumping the broom can be linked with slavery. Both are partially correct. Africans unfortunately trapped in slavery, were not legally allowed to exchange vows and marry. To get around the law, jumping over a broom with your better half symbolized a respected union. The broom tradition, however, seems to have intact at least partially began before reaching what is now know as America.

Those of the Ashanti culture would too use brooms during the union of two lovers but by waving it above the couple's heads instead of the two jumping over the broom.

Those attached to the Ashanti tribe brought this tradition from the Mother Land but much like all long lived traditions, it changed once the tradition arrived in the US and because of the environment slaves were forced to endure.

Did you learn something new? Drop me a note and let me know if you plan on jumping the broom at your wedding! Be sure to share with a friend!

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